Dear Terrence,

Not my real family…

I took my kids to the park today. Yesterday, too. “Daddy, can we come back tomorrow?” my daughter asked just before we left, so it looks like we might be heading back tomorrow as well.

It’s a real privilege to be able to spend so much time with my kids. It’s one of the perks of being a teacher: I get spring break off too. And so I spend it with my family.

I wonder how many times you got to spend the afternoon at the park with your dad. I know you live with your mom, and for all I know, your dad could be out of the picture altogether. It’s not at all uncommon these days.

I know you’ll likely say, “It is what it is.” Perhaps. It is, but it shouldn’t be. I’m always a little taken aback at how cavalierly some of you guys take the fact that your parents are divorced. I cannot image my parents divorcing; I cannot imagine divorcing my wife. We’re in to for good — there is no problem we won’t work out somehow. And so I’ll always be able to take my kid to the park on sunny spring afternoons. Because it’s important — the smallest things always are.

I hope you’ll take this to heart when you start your own family. It’s likely to be difficult for you, not having any solid role model to serve as a pattern. Still, it’s possible. Just say to yourself daily, “My child will have a more stable family life than I did.” Say it now. Say it again. There — that’s a start.

Tired but satisfied,
Your Teacher


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